On day three of the January 6 committee hearings, the critique of former President Donald Trump continued relentlessly. This time it focused on how he tried to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to send the electoral votes back to the states for an audit and recount, as provisioned by the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887. However, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) may have inadvertently admitted that the whole affair is, indeed, just a show trial.
In his opening statement, Thompson laid out the agenda for day three. In his summary, he stated that Trump tried to pressure Pence to “overturn the election” by rejecting electoral votes and that the vice president has no constitutional authority to make such a decision.
Legal scholars disagree. Professors of law John Yoo at the University of California, Berkley, and Robert Delahunty at St. Thomas University have argued publicly that Trump’s interpretation of the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is sound. However, this expert disagreement was never mentioned or acknowledged by the committee.
Furthermore, Trump did not ask Pence to “overturn the election” but to return the electoral votes to the states for an audit and recount. Since Trump’s version was never given a voice at the hearing, the committee could present an interpretation of events with which he would vigorously disagree.
Most Americans recognize that this is not a hearing but a deafening. Indeed, in a moment of honesty, Thompson came dangerously close to giving away the game. He told the press that the committee has no plans of recommending criminal indictments of the former president, implying that it is a PR campaign to stain Trump’s name to the public.
However, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) may unintentionally throw a monkey wrench into the Democrats’ plans. When asked the same question, she insisted that criminal indictments were still on the table. That indicates that she honestly believes that Trump has committed crimes and takes the hearing seriously.
Indicting Trump is likely the last thing the Democrats want because, in an actual criminal court case, Trump and his legal defense would be allowed to speak. It would be highly publicized and would likely draw more viewers than these hearings. For tens of millions of Americans, it would be the first time they heard the other side.
In recent polling, Rasmussen Reports has documented how disastrous such an open forum could be for the Democrats. They asked Americans who had seen Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary 2000 Mules if it had strengthened their conviction that there was systematic and widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and 77% responded positively. More importantly, of the 14% of Democrats who watched the movie, 68% agreed.
Meanwhile, as shown both by Rasmussen and Liberty Nation’s own poll, the top priority for the upcoming election is the economy. The January 6 show trial attempts to divert attention away from the real problems ordinary Americans face – but it fails miserably.